Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will not challenge any of the more than one million signatures Democrats have gathered to force a recall election against him, Reuters reported. Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews told the Associated Press that his campaign simply didn't have enough time to study all the signatures.
Walker, a Republican in his first term as governor, angered many Wisconsin citizens when he ended nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public workers last fall.
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Democrats turned in their signatures in January, and the deadline for filing any challenges was 5 p.m. today, the AP reported. A Dane County judge gave Walker 20 extra days beyond the 10 days allotted under state law to scrutinize the signatures, Reuters reported, but Matthews called that an “impossible timeline.”
The state Government Accountability Board, which oversees Wisconsin elections, has until March 19 to certify whether there are enough valid signatures to trigger an election, the AP reported. Opponents need 540,208 valid signatures to force a vote, and it is widely expected a recall election will take place later this year.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Democratic party released its first TV ad in their campaign to recall the governor, the Washington Post reported. Four of Walker’s current and former aides are being investigated for embezzling funds intended for veterans or illegal fundraising, and the ad draws parallels between this and the Watergate scandal. Walker has the jump on his opponents in this area; he’s been airing ads against the recall effort, paid for by the billionaire libertarian Koch brothers, since last fall.